Earlier this week, 12 LGBT Ugandan activists came to the U.S. attempting to seek justice against an anti-gay pastor who should be on trial for human rights violations.
The LGBT rights group, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), assert that Pastor Scott Lively is responsible for pushing anti-gay policy in their home country of Uganda. Pastor Lively is President of Abiding Truth Ministries and is accused of working to take away basic human rights from the community in Uganda. Just a few years ago, in 2013, Lively was unable to have the case Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively dismissed; however, now he is working to obtain a summary judgment to prevent it from finally going to trial.
Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of SMUG, explained: “We have overwhelming evidence in this case that the persecution of the LGBTI community is rampant in Uganda and Scott Lively worked closely with other anti-gay leaders in our country to deprive us of our fundamental human rights…We hope the judge will rule in our favor and allow our case to go to trial so we can bring Scott Lively to justice for what he has done to our community.”
One of SMUG’s attorneys explained that: “Lively worked to erase LGBTI Ugandans from civil and political life.” Another of SMUG’s attorneys said that “Lively’s own documents show how he and his close associates worked to criminalize not just the LGBTI community’s existence but any possibility of advocating for their right to exist…. SMUG and the LGBTI community have stood tall in the face of such targeted oppression and degradation, and they deserve their day in court.”
Lively has denied these charges and says the case against him is frivolous. He told the Boston Globe: “There are homosexuals who molest children. That’s just a fact. But I never said that all homosexuals do that.” Lively says that he believes in therapy for homosexuals and does not advocate for violence against the community. However, SMUG provided the courts with extensive evidence, purportedly 200 such documented examples, of the persecution of the LGBTI community in Uganda, and Lively’s role in each of these cases.
We will keep you updated as this case unfolds.